EFF in the News
“It’s something the Republican Party is going to have to debate,” says Mark Jaycox, legislative analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The question is going to be, can new members convince the leadership that these authorities need to be reformed?”
When these issues come up for debate, he said, “we are counting on the members to be consistent in their positions when it comes to privacy issues, surveillance, and national security issues.”
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which obtained records from the prison system under the state Freedom of Information Act, more than 40 inmates received two years in solitary and one man received 37 years. The foundation describes itself as a national nonprofit that defends civil liberties in the digital world.
To view them as part of an investigation, the Justice Department needs only to obtain a subpoena, which is a far lower standard than the “probable cause” needed for a search warrant, said privacy advocate Mark Jaycox, a legislative analyst with the California-based Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“If you were to print out those same e-mails and lay them on your desk, they would need a probable cause warrant,” Jaycox said.
"The Superfish software undermines internet security for the rather ridiculous purpose of serving advertisements," said Rainey Reitman, director of activism at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "It's a severe security issue, and frankly a betrayal by Lenovo of all of its affected customers."
“I think of HIPAA like Swiss cheese: it’s full of holes everywhere,” Rainey Reitman with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the Investigative Unit.
Reitman serves as the director of the Activism Team for the non-profit. EFF’s website states its mission as “defending civil liberties in the digital world.”
Reitman says HIPAA does not apply in these types of cases.
“A lot of people think of HIPAA as this very strong law that is going to make sure that their medical information doesn’t get out there, but HIPAA actually doesn’t work like that at all. In fact it doesn’t really cover workers comp people at all,” Reitman said.
“This is how we hold countries accountable for action … Governments behave better when they know they’re being watched and tracked,” said Eva Galperin of the EFF in an interview last year.
"As human beings, we shed hundreds of thousands of skin and hair cells daily, with each cell containing information about who we are, where we come from, and who we will be," said Jennifer Lynch, a senior EFF staff attorney. "The court must recognize that allowing police the limitless ability to collect and search genetic material will usher in a future where DNA may be collected from any person at any time, entered into and checked against DNA databases, and used to conduct pervasive surveillance."
Issues of what workers can do while off duty, like attend rallies and work for political candidates, have raised questions in the past, but the spotlight of the Internet has amplified the conversation, Mr. Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation said.
Post a photo of yourself at a rally or write an online opinion piece and your boss can easily see it. “We get calls on our complaint line about someone getting into trouble — not usually fired, but spoken to — about writing a blog” that could be seen as controversial, Mr. Tien said.
In addition, questions of when someone is actually off duty arise now more than ever, he said. “I’m talking to you from a personal iPhone from home, but I’m checking my company email on my laptop.”
"Right now, we're really just having to trust the companies to tell us how they share the information," Jennifer Lynch, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said.
Lynch is a privacy expert for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is located in San Francisco. She's concerned how private investigators might use this information.
Lynch told 7 On Your Side, "That would mean that, for example, divorce attorneys could have access to it, people who are trying to stalk people from prior relationships could have access to it."
However, no LEARN-related contracts or agreements are publicly available, and the existence of the program has, until now, gone unreported in the news. That kind of secrecy is not unusual: A LEARN contract obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation prohibits users from doing any publicity around the program without written consent from Vigilant. The provision, Vigilant says, is “specifically intended to prohibit users from cooperating with any media outlet to bring attention to LEARN.”